Cornel West stands with Brian Flores ... telling TMZ Sports he agrees with the former Dolphins head coach that the NFL has a systemic racism problem.
We spoke with the philosopher just a few days after Flores filed his bombshell lawsuit -- one in which he alleged teams are racist when it comes to making hires across the league -- and the former Harvard and Princeton professor told us he couldn't agree more with the allegations.
"The NFL ought to be ashamed of itself," West said. "It's been functioning like a plantation."
West tells us, though, that he believes Flores' suit could be the start of a big change in the league.
"Now," he said, "the chicken's coming home to roost."
West tells us he admires Flores -- lauding the coach for having vision, integrity, courage and humility -- and he says if the NFL focused more on those traits in Black coaches, they wouldn't need the Rooney Rule in the first place.
"Well, the problem is that if they were concerned about quality they wouldn't have to worry about a rule," West said.
"Any time you talk about Black folks -- you're talking about low quality. They got to quit lying about black people."
He continued ... "Quality and Blackness go hand in hand in terms of the best of Black folk ... the basic tendency of Black folk is high quality."